Politics, campaigns, election and rumours

Rumour mill includes falsehood I’m working for candidate
Someone spreads lie I’m on communication team for Dhanani
By Kris Scheuer

As a journalist for a dozen years including nine focused on politics, I am accustomed to interviewing politicians about rumours.
But I am not used to political rumours about me.
Yesterday, I got an email from  Satinder Sahota who’s working on Jon Burnside‘s election campaign in local race in Don Valley West Ward 26.
She’d heard I was a communications person for Ward 26 candidate Mohamed Dhanani’s campaign and wanted to know if this was true.
Of course it’s 100 percent false and I emailed and called her right away to say so.
I have never worked or volunteered on anyone’s political campaign, ever. And certainly would not do so at the same time as being employed as a political reporter who is interviewing candidates during the current 2010 election race. I spoke to candidate Burnside and communications campaign person Sahota today and told them to rest assured that I am not working anyone’s campaign.
Burnside told me he heard this rumour a few days ago while he was at an event in Thorncliffe. He couldn’t recall who among the 25 or so people he met that day told him this lie about me.
Because I can’t speak to the unknown person who said this remark, I am writing to clear the air.
I appreciate that Burnside and Sahota contacted me directly and in a very respectful manner asked me about what they heard.
A few weeks ago, I wrote one article for the Town Crier profiling Dhanani as a candidate in Ward 26 when he registered. Besides the fact I am interviewing dozens and dozens of candidates in 20 different wards across the city as part of the paper’s election coverage between January and Oct. 25, the story on Dhanani focused on the fact he ran in the same ward in 2006. At that time 15 people ran and Dhanani came second just 214 votes behind the winner, Councillor John Parker. So this is a rematch of sorts.
For example, I have also interviewed six candidates in Ward 27, thus far and four candidates in Ward 29 and the list goes on. And I assume no one thinks I am on their campaign team…
And for the record, myself or a Town Crier colleague will interview candidate Burnside just as we will with every candidate (we can reach after multiple attempts) in all the local races we are covering.
What are your thoughts? Let me know.


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